Tag Archives: credit cards

Identity theft myths

Identity theft and data loss prevention have two dimensions:

  1. The firms who create, store and process data
  2. Consumers

The media tends to confuse the two issues  – promoting various public and private agendas (for example – security product vendors who want to inflate the cost of damage of identity theft by counting the cost to consumers instead of the cost to the business. Firms like Verdasys, Symantec, McAfee, Fidelis Security and RSA that develop and sell DLP (data loss prevention) products love to publicize numbers like this:

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The credit crunch, Cisco and Nortel

I was talking with my friend Gennady Weizman yesterday about medium term (as in the next 6-18 months) impact of the current financial markets crisis on the tech market.   Most of our business is in the telecom industry – so I have an interest in whether our clients will have money to spend.

it appears to me that there is a significant difference in the threat surface for telecom business today than 8 years ago when the dot.com bubble burst.   Back in 2000, the telecom service providers and their technology suppliers were living off the bubble, overpriced products and services and an over-supply of fiber and network infrastructure.  It took the the telecom industry 7 years to recover but today the industry is healthy with multiple growth drivers in VOD, IPTV, broadband, triple-play, VoIP, HDTV, 3G cellular, WiMax and mobile data.

Cisco is my personal indicator – if their orders (many from telecom service providers) drop then it’s a sign that the consumer credit crisis is trickling back up the supply chain to the equipment vendors.

Cisco shares declined in Nasdaq trading after John Chambers forecast the first revenue drop in five years because of the financial crisis. Sales may fall as much as 10 percent in the second quarter, which ends in January

The business took a hit  with the credit crunch, driving October 2008 orders for Cisco products down 9 percent. Chambers said that his comfort level with the forecast was the lowest since the dot-com bubble burst in 2000. Cisco plans to save $1 billion in costs over the next three quarters by freezing hiring, business travel and relocation expenses.

Chambers is usually an optimistic fellow – so should we be worried?

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Business threat modeling

These are dangerous times for a business. Every day brings another threat.

The sub-prime crisis, the crash of world financial markets, the price of oil (going way up and now going down again), an impending crash of the US sub-prime credit card market (like how long can you charge 35% over the top interest rates?), spam, zero-day attacks, identity theft and data loss vulnerabilities do not make life easy for a business of any size.

With one dollar to spend on security, how do you spend it? Before the next meeting with your manager (or shareholders) – I suggest doing a little threat modeling first.

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